Terry Middle School

Library News

Vol.1 Issue 2: April 16, 2020

Tips, tricks, and resources you may want to use or share with your classes. All newsletters, along with other fabulous resources, will be housed on the Library website's Teacher Zone (feel free to bookmark it) ;)

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Welcome to the Virtual Library Desk. We are OPEN!

I have an open Meets/Hangout from 9 am - 2 pm weekdays for teachers or students who need to stop by for help, just like they would during a "normal" day. The camera and microphone are muted unless someone comes in, but I'll be listening for the ding to come meet you. Just like the real library, sometimes I may have "stepped out" for a minute, but even if I'm in a meeting, I can pop over to let you know what time I'll be finished or mute the other meeting and help you really quickly (but honestly, most of my meetings are 2 pm or later anyway).


PLEASE SHARE THIS WITH YOUR STUDENTS. They can use this link and the meets nickname is tmslibrarydesk. If they get a notice it doesn't exist or is unavailable, make sure they know they should be going through their MISD portal to meet me.

What's on your classroom walls???

Something a kid mentioned to me this week is that they didn't know where to get a math formulas chart and everything on Google was too small. It got me to thinking, though. I used to have lots of posters and anchor charts in my classroom that kids got used to seeing and could just look up for reference when needed. What is on your walls that your kids can't see anymore? Have you put reference materials in your virtual classrooms? Some of you already have, I'm sure, but if you haven't thought about it ( and I'll be honest, I hadn't even thought about it until that conversation) think about making a virtual "classroom wall". A Google Slide or Google Drawing will allow you to easily manipulate images and PDFs that you can arrange as a display and post in your classroom for easy student access. I'll finish up an example to share and attach it to this newsletter as soon as I'm done, so check back later for more info.

This week's tip from the library- Upping Your Google Meets Game

I attended one of the Instructional Technology Sessions Thursday called Next Steps with Google Meets. For those of you meeting regularly with your classes here are some of my takeaways from this session


  • When you open the session, have a slide with your Meet Norms already posted by sharing your screen, such as When you enter the Meet, mute your microphone, add your questions to the chat as you think of them instead of blurting out, etc. You can even add a fun, silly, or "how you doin'?" question for them to respond to in the chat as you are waiting for other kids to arrive.
  • Kick off with something fun: a Gimkit, Kahoot, or Quizzez activity gets your students motivated (and an incentive to show up on time). Give them the link to join in the comments section. You can also teach them to do a split screen by pulling the tab down until it separates and shrink the sides of both windows to sit side by side, particularly if you are dong a Kahoot so they can see the questions in your meet and answer without toggling back and forth between two tabs.
  • Keep it short and sweet. Chunk the lesson and go over a couple of slides before engaging kids for feedback. It could be questions you have on a Padlet wall, a Google form, or some other formative assessment tool you like to use. Again, give them the link in the comment section and have them click on it to respond.
  • You can use digital whiteboards to teach concepts live, show examples etc. Try awwapp.com, canvas.apps.chrome, or webwhiteboard.com
  • Is there a Virtual Field Trip that connects to what you are teaching? Check Google Expeditions or Poly. Warning: If you want to send the link rather than lead the expedition in presentation mode, consider doing this at the end or you will lose students's attention as you move on.
  • If you want to use Meets as more of a Flipped Lesson tool remember to keep videos to 5 minutes or less, put a question in the video for students to respond to in Google Classroom, Padlet, Flipgrid Seesaw, etc., and make it purposeful and fun (like fun science experiments from home, etc.)


If you have any questions or would like me to help you practice, please email me or drop into the library at the link above.

Jason Reynolds: "Write. Right. Rite.": Create an Award for Yourself
Jason Reynolds: "Write. Right. Rite.": Create A Fictional Tattoo

Looking for something new to try? Using Google Sites

So this week I created a Google Site to put together links for a potential research project. It's something I've used for Choice Boards, Breakouts, ect. It's a fairly simple drag and drop process and it links to all your Google Documents easily, lets you embed video, etc. Here are some examples of what you can make and upload the link to your classroom.


Pandemics Research: https://sites.google.com/mesquiteisd.org/pandemicsresearch/home

Lone Star Choice Board: https://sites.google.com/mesquiteisd.org/tms-lone-star-projects/home

Machu Picchu Breakout: https://sites.google.com/mesquiteisd.org/pandemicsresearch/home

Digital Breakout- SORA

Do your kids need a refresher for How to Check out a Digital Book? Have them try this Digital Breakout.

Technology Resources for Teachers

If you've missed some of the great staff development sessions the Instructional Technology Team has been putting together, they are recording and posting many of their "how to" sessions for everyone who couldn't make it.


Next week's schedule can be found here

Check out their page here

The FULL calendar can be found here

Resources for Parents and Students.

If you have parents or students needing help with connecting online from home, Instructional Technology and the Help Desk have put together videos and links for help. Students and Parents can contact the stuhelpdesk@mesquiteisd.org or fill out the Distance Learning Assistance Request form


They can visit this page to access all of the videos and resources.

Guess Who???